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View Diary: A Biologist's View of the Spill (161 comments)

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  •  I disagree with the TED removal... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crashing Vor, Pandoras Box

    being the cause of the Turtle deaths. As someone who has worked on a shrimp boat, before TEDs and after, there was never that high a number of deaths in the past. Having walked MILES of Gulf beaches in my lifetime(before TEDs) you certainly didn't have the numbers of dead we have seen lately.

    Why now and not then? While those nets without TEDs are very deadly to sea turtles, I find it more than a coincidence that the deaths began occuring at the same time as the spill. I would ask if the turtle deaths could be stress related. They are fairly hearty animals so that's just a guess, but with all that oil crowding their habitat I"m stressed out and I'm not a turtle.

    "For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" - Carl Sagan

    by draa on Fri May 14, 2010 at 11:50:02 AM PDT

    •  turtle deaths (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor, Pandoras Box

      Sea turtle deaths do tend to increase seasonally, depending on a few things: cold stress in the winter, different wind patterns bringing dead ones in to shore, etc. And this is one of the "high" seasons for turtle strandings on that coast. Turtle strandings are also increasing around the country as protection efforts are working and there are more LIVE turtles around. More live turtles means there will be more dead ones, obviously.

      When turtles are killed by TEDS, there are some identifying characteristics to look for...drowning is an obvious sign, marks on the skin and shell in certain patterns, etc. NMFS actually did quite a bit of research on that topic, so I'm sure they will be able to tell from the necropsies.

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